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Sunday, September 28, 2003

High crimes and misdemeanors?

From the Washington Post:

At CIA Director George J. Tenet's request, the Justice Department is looking into an allegation that administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist, government sources said yesterday.

The operative's identity was published in July after her husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, publicly challenged President Bush's claim that Iraq had tried to buy "yellowcake" uranium ore from Africa for possible use in nuclear weapons. Bush later backed away from the claim.

The intentional disclosure of a covert operative's identity is a violation of federal law.

The officer's name was disclosed on July 14 in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak, who said his sources were two senior administration officials.

Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife. Wilson had just revealed that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson's account touched off a political fracas over Bush's use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq.

"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.

Talk about a bombshell. Calpundit cuts to the chase:

This is not trivial stuff, and it wasn't an innocent mistake. Someone who is very senior, very experienced, and who is trusted with the highest levels of national security information, exposed a CIA agent. They knew what they were doing, and they shopped it around systematically to make sure someone took the bait.

Even if the two leakers were Ari Fleisher and Karl Rove — people who wouldn't have the names of undercover agents just sitting around, we hope — we still have to ask, Who told them? Be sure to read Josh Marshall as this story unfolds.

Meanwhile, call your representatives. This incredibly reckless abuse of power deserves outrage and sustained pressure from Congress and the press.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 28 September 2003 at 5:26 PM

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2 comments:

Philocrites:

September 29, 2003 01:31 PM | Permalink for this comment

Daniel W. Drezner writes:

Let me make this as plain as possible -- I was an unpaid advisor for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, and I know and respect some high-ranking people in the administration. And none of that changes the following: if George W. Bush knew about or condoned this kind of White House activity, I wouldn't just vote against him in 2004 -- I'd want to see him impeached. Straight away.

Jokes:

October 8, 2004 07:12 PM | Permalink for this comment

The CIA had an opening for an assassin. After all of the background checks, interviews, and testing were done there were three finalists - two men and one woman. For the final test, the CIA agents took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a gun.

"We must know that you will follow your instructions, no matter what the circumstances. Inside this room you will find your wife sitting in a chair. You have to kill her." The first man said. "You cant be serious. I could never shoot my wife!"The agent replies, "Then you?re not the right man for this job."

The second man was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room. All was quiet for about five minutes. Then the agent came out with tears in his eyes. "I tried, but I cant kill my wife." The agent replies, "You dont have what it takes. Take your wife and go home."

Finally, it was the womans turn. Only she was told to kill her husband. She took the gun and went into the room. Shots were heard, one shot after another. They heard screaming, crashing, banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was quiet. The door opened slowly and there stood the woman. She wiped the sweat from her brow and said, "You guys didnt tell me the gun was loaded with blanks. So I had to beat him to death with the chair."



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